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Kids that dont work on trips

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jr: see, I just don't get this. I am a Web 1 parent. My kid does admittedly still have some growing to do scout-wise. But how is he gonna grow if they don't let him fail?


Let me give you a for instance: last spring, he went to Webelos Woods. This is a district event held in the spring for current bears and web 1s. So for my kid, it was the 1st time camping without his parents. The goal of this event is to get the boys started on cooking, setting up a tent, starting a fire, etc in a somewhat safe environment where adults are still around and helping. My kid is a picky eater. I asked when he got back how it went with the cooking. He said: "Well, Mom, lunch wasn't all that great so I didn't eat it. But by the dinner time I was starving so even though I really didn't like how my silver turtles came out, I ate them ALL". He also didn't properly clean his mess kit, which I made him do when he got home (and NOT using the dishwasher)


Moral of the story: no kid is gonna DIE because he skips a meal or two. And I was glad he learned his lesson that when you wanna eat, you gotta cook. And when you are really hungry, you eat what's there. I would have slapped those parents.

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All these are great ideas. But the big problem I have encountered is if a patrol has to miss a meal because they failed to prepare it, Mommy and Daddy are screaming at me the next time they see me because their prescious little angel almost starved to death.


Yeah, I don't get this. My mom taught me the basics of cooking early on. (Still didn't prevent my patrol from trying to boil one hot dog at a time, but still. ;) ) Tough love. Hand mommy and daddy the Cooking MBP and tell them to practice with their son. Ask them how he's going to survive on his own when he gets older if he can't cook.

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For a good six months or more when he first joined as a 10 year old, my kid was the last one ready to leave for home on Sunday morning. He just couldn't get his gear packed, or his tent taken down, or couldn't find his uniform shirt, or whatever. He just did not have it together. This was hard on him. Other boys were sometimes unkind (cold Sunday mornings, everybody waiting around on the new guy). Some adults were sometimes impatient. A few times people really yelled at him. I heard all about it when he got home.


I remember being of two minds. One, that he was learning a valuable lesson. The other, that I wished some of the more unpleasant behaviors toward him might be toned down. But I was willing to let him work through it and figure it out, which he eventually did. I still recall when the troop came back (late) one time, and he proudly said "yeah but at least it wasn't because of me!" I have shared that with several other parents over the years, all to say "he'll get it eventually" and "be patient."


Now I do remember talking with the SM at one point, after one much older scout took the tent down with my son inside it, then punched my son, another scout was screaming swear words at him, and an adult was evidently nose-to-nose with him and shouting to hurry up (or to that effect). I remember the concern I tried to convey to the SM being "this won't motivate him and it won't teach him." More than likely, he'll just shut down completely, which the SM agreed is what he did.


Who knows? Maybe that SM interpreted my concern as yet another parent trying to over-protect her kid.


Constructive failure doesn't bug me much. Simply tearing somebody down is not constructive. Finding the balance, especially on a cold, wet, Sunday morning when you want to go home, can be hard.

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Re: A scout is helpful.


In the case of a habitual shirker, it is not helpful to the habitual shirker to do the job he is shirking. It is more helpful to figure out how to resolve it. Now, if the slow scout is just having a bad day, of course his fellow scouts should help him get things done. We all have those days.

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